Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., Receives Urology’s Prestigious Gold Cystoscope Award

Dipen J. Parekh, M.D., professor and Chair of Urology and the Dr. Victor Politano Endowed Chair in Clinical Urology, is the 2013 recipient of the American Urological Association’s prestigious Gold Cystoscope Award. Presented at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego May 8, the award recognizes urologists who have made outstanding contributions to the profession within 13 years of completing their residency training.

Among the world’s most experienced robotic surgeons for urologic malignancies, Parekh received the award of excellence for establishing programs in urologic oncology and robotic surgery and for pursuing transformative research that promises to change clinical practice.

“This award underscores not only Dr. Parekh’s very impressive credentials and equally impressive experience, but his unwavering commitment to devising and delivering the highest quality care through research and individualized treatment,” said Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. “A caring physician, stellar surgeon, revolutionary scientist and peer-reviewed author, he makes a real difference in the lives of patients every day.”

“Everyone who has worked with Dr. Parekh recognizes that he is a world-class urologist and robotic cancer surgeon, but to receive this honor from his peers in the AUA makes it known to all the world,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, where Parekh is a member. “We are privileged to work alongside Dipen at Sylvester, given his incredible skills as a physician and surgeon, and his equally impressive personal qualities. We have no doubt he will make important contributions to the field of urologic cancers for decades to come.”

Parekh, who joined the Miller School faculty in 2012 after establishing the robotic program at the University of Texas San Antonio, said he was both “humbled and gratified” to be honored by his peers.

“The previous recipients of this award are legends in urology, and it is a privilege to even be considered in their company,” Parekh said. “It also provides the opportunity to offer my sincerest thanks and gratitude to my family, my teachers and mentors, my friends and colleagues and all the institutions that nurtured me, including the Miller School of Medicine. This award will inspire me to give my very best to make a positive difference moving forward.”

An expert in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of urologic cancer, including tumors of the kidney, bladder, prostate, testis and male genitalia, Parekh is also an active researcher and author of several scientific papers, abstracts and book chapters. The assistant editor for the preeminent Journal of Urology, he recently published a pivotal study about renal ischemia that holds the promise of transforming how urologists treat kidney cancer. The study refuted a key assumption about how long a diseased kidney could survive during surgery without blood supply.

Until then, most urologists believed the entire organ needed to be removed quickly, but the study Parekh led showed that blood vessels to the kidney could be clamped safely for up to an hour, giving surgeons enough time to save a portion of the organ through nephron-sparing surgery. During the AUA meeting, Parekh moderated a panel discussion on “Technical Advances in Doing Nephron-Sparing Surgery.”

He also serves as Principal Investigator of the only National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial comparing open and robotic cystectomy for bladder cancer. Now in its third year, the five-year, 15-center trial is also destined to be transformational, settling the debate over the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of robotic versus open surgery with true comparative-effectiveness research.

Born in India, Parekh earned his M.D. from Poona University and completed residencies in general surgery and urology at Mumbai University, earning board certification in both. Awarded a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, he pursued further training in the U.S., completing a residency in urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

At UM, Parekh continues the medical school’s long tradition of leadership in the AUA and excellence in the field of urology. Mark S. Soloway, M.D., professor of urology who stepped down as chair in 2010 after nearly 19 years at the helm, received the Gold Cystoscope Award in 1984. The accomplishments of the late Victor Politano, M.D., who chaired the department from 1972 to 1990, are immortalized by the AUA’s annual bestowal of the Victor A. Politano Award to a urologist who has enhanced the treatment and quality of life of incontinent patients.

Founded in 1902, the AUA is dedicated to fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy. It has more than 19,000 members around the world.

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